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That’s the question raised by this terrific Wall Street Journal story. The firm is GlobalOptions, an extremely well-connected company run by, among others, former FBI and CIA officials. The Kazakh government apparently retained GlobalOptions to monitor, and possibly seek to derail, a Justice Department investigation into James Giffen, an American oilman who is suspected of paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes to President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Dariga Nazarbayeva, the Kazakh president’s powerful daughter, reportedly lined up the services of the private-security firm. (I met Dariga a few years ago at a reception at the Washington offices of GlobalOptions. She invited me to visit Kazakhstan and told me that if I took her up on the invitation I was certain to meet some beautiful local women. Quite a strange encounter.) In addition to being extremely “murky” in its operations, GlobalOptions was also (as I reported a few years ago) an Iraq war profiteer.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Estimated total calories members of Congress burned giving Bush’s 2002 State of the Union standing ovations:
A fertility scientist named Panayiotis Zavos announced that he had created human-cow embryos that were theoretically viable, but denied that he planned to allow such a hybrid to be implanted in a woman’s womb. “We are not trying to create monsters,” he said.
A statistician determined that the five most common first names among New York City taxi drivers are Md, Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammad, and Mohamed.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”